Do-it-Yourself Gift Ideas - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Do-it-Yourself Gift Ideas

by Jennie Morton

I don't know about you, but my craft skills are somewhat limited.  I can create some simple items, but nothing too complicated or extravagant.   Here are some easy Do-it-Yourself gift ideas for the holidays -- and the rest of the year.

Apple basket with caramel dip

A lot of people give sweet gifts during the holidays, but not all food related gifts need to be unhealthy. One idea is a basket filled with apples and a jar of homemade caramel dip. Sure, the caramel dip is sweet, but the recipient can choose to leave it aside. You can find a cute rectangular basket at a craft store, IKEA, or Cost Plus World Market.  You can find several recipes online by searching for "caramel dip."

Picnic basket full of food and wine

Another food idea is a picnic basket for two.  If you live near a good specialty gourmet store, buy a basket, a bottle of wine, and lots of little food items, such as small bottles of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, scones, crackers, little jars of jam, summer sausage, and whatever else looks good. You might want to supplement the gift with a fresh baguette the day you give it.

Apple iPhoto or Kodak Gallery photo album

If you've celebrated a big milestone during the year, such as a wedding or birth, consider making a gift album using photos from the event.  Using digital versions of your pictures, use Apple's iPhoto photo album functionality ( http://www.apple.com/ilife/iphoto/books/) or Kodak Gallery's photo books ( http://www.kodakgallery.com/PhotoBookOverview.jsp).

Arranging photos is easy using their built-in templates. Alternately, if you have some talent making collages of photos in a photo editor, such as Adobe Photoshop, you can make some interesting photo layouts and use them as a full-bleed page in your photo album.  Kodak Gallery offers hard-bound books with different cover materials. Apple offers both hard-bound and soft-bound books. Their smallest books are perfect for handing out photos of a new baby. Hard-bound books make great photo albums for parents the year after a wedding.

Paint your own pottery

Another great way to make a personal gift is to go to a "paint your own pottery" studio and paint a gift for someone. You can paint something as simple as a light switch plate, or something as large as a platter.   Coffee mugs are usually a safe gift, but bowls give you a little more space to work with.  My favorite is a nice wide pasta bowl.   Designs don't have to be complicated to be good.  Do something simple--with stripes, concentric circles, or a "stained glass" effect.  There are many independent studios, in addition to the chains Petroglyph ( http://www.petroglyph.com) and Color Me Mine (http://www.colormemine.com/).   To find the independent studios, search online for "paint your own pottery" and your city name.

When all else fails, you really can't go wrong with sweets, especially if you need to give gifts to coworkers.  Cookies, pumpkin bread (I add mini chocolate chips!), and zucchini bread are all good, but if you really can't cook, buy some blueberry muffin mix and make blueberry bread loaves.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Sugarhouse fire in Swanton

    Sugarhouse fire in Swanton

    Friday, April 18 2014 8:54 AM EDT2014-04-18 12:54:02 GMT
    A sugaring season was cut short in Swanton overnight after a shed caught fire. Fire officials tell us they got the call around 1:30 a.m. Friday for the sugarhouse fire on Woods Hill Road. They say theMore >>
    A sugaring season was cut short in Swanton overnight after a shed caught fire.More >>
  • NH ski areas to close after this weekend

    NH ski areas to close after this weekend

    Friday, April 18 2014 8:46 AM EDT2014-04-18 12:46:49 GMT
    As the temperatures start to climb, it's your last weekend to ski in New Hampshire. The three remaining areas that are open -- Loon Mountain, Cannon Mountain, and Bretton Woods -- are planning to closeMore >>
    As the temperatures start to climb, it's your last weekend to ski in New Hampshire.More >>
  • Dispatchers recognized this week

    Dispatchers recognized this week

    Friday, April 18 2014 8:45 AM EDT2014-04-18 12:45:18 GMT
    This week, the first line of emergency responders are being recognized for their work. National Telecommunicators Week ends Saturday. It's a national week honoring the men and women who work around-the-clockMore >>
    This week, the first line of emergency responders are being recognized for their work.More >>
  • Putney man ran over in driveway

    Putney man ran over in driveway

    Friday, April 18 2014 12:04 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:04:40 GMT
    A Putney man was taken to the hospital after police say he was run over in a driveway. It happened this afternoon on Kimball Hill Road. Investigators say 63-year-old Eric Ladd was walking slipped and hitMore >>
    A Putney man was taken to the hospital after police say he was run over in a driveway. It happened this afternoon on Kimball Hill Road.More >>
  • N.H. police find bottle bomb at park

    N.H. police find bottle bomb at park

    Friday, April 18 2014 12:00 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:00:59 GMT
    Police are searching for clues after a homemade bottle bomb was found at a park in Keene New Hampshire. On Wednesday workers were doing spring clean-up at Wheelock park when they found a 55-gallon drumMore >>
    Police are searching for clues after a homemade bottle bomb was found at a park in Keene New Hampshire.More >>
  • Winooski man killed in motorcycle accident

    Winooski man killed in motorcycle accident

    Thursday, April 17 2014 11:58 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:58:40 GMT
    There's been a tragedy on the Burlington beltway Thursday night. Police confirm that a 24-year-old Winooski man was killed in a motorcycle crash that shutdown the beltway. The name has been releasedMore >>
    Burlington Police confirm that a 24-year-old Winooski man was killed in a motorcycle crash that shutdown the beltline.More >>
  • Stowe couple dead in murder-suicide

    Stowe couple dead in murder-suicide

    Thursday, April 17 2014 11:08 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:08:04 GMT
    Police say two people found dead at a home in Stowe are believed to have died in a murder-suicide. Police are still not releasing their names or the cause of death, but they say the victims are adults. StoweMore >>
    A Stowe couple is dead after what police say was a murder-suicide. The news came as a shock to neighbors who say they never noticed any red flags.
    More >>
  • Leicester man charged with shootings appears in court

    Leicester man charged with shootings appears in court

    Thursday, April 17 2014 6:58 PM EDT2014-04-17 22:58:26 GMT
    A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury. Timothy Foley did appear in court Thursday in Middlebury. He wasn't there last time,More >>
    A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.